Screening for potential problems before they are hired-Part 2

This is the 2nd part of this series. Next week there will be a guest article on keeping your employees constantly checked so you can be aware of anything that comes after you hire them. I hope these tips give you a better understanding of the checks that need to be completed.

As I stated before I am not an HR professional (and I don’t even play one on TV). I can’t and won’t give you legal advice on what you can and can’t do. I can however give you by best advice on what should be checked before you hire someone. The main idea with checking someone’s background is know who is working for you and having access to your vital areas of business.

Workplace violence, fraud, internal theft, being set up for theft, computer hacking and stealing proprietary information can cost you millions. Therefore, if you hire the right person and check them, then the chances will lessen that you make a bad decision and hire. As a result of that your bottom line will stay relatively safe and steady.

Social Security Number

In this day and age it is imperative that you verify that the person is using their social security number and not a stolen one. And there are several ways to do this as well, which makes it all the better.

#1 is to use a private service like you would for criminal checks. They can verify who holds the card and if the number is valid. #2 is the social security office themselves thru the ‘e-verify’ system. Ostensibly this will also help you ferret out miscreants.

Before the day of e-verify, the social security office was horrible in actually answering those requests for them, personal experience working for a day labor company it took weeks and months to get the info back in 2003.


Workers Compensation

Depending on your state, you may want to check this as well. While it doesn’t happen as often as it used to there is still the potential for fraud within the system. In many cases, an individual could get onto workers compensation in Kansas then cross the border into Missouri or Nebraska and start working, at duties that were against their claim. This could also leave you open to a lawsuit by the other state or worker.


Other Checks to Make

On references; personal references will more than likely give glowing referrals and high praise. However, some will not be so kind and answer the phone/e-mail or give bad references; yes I have seen this first hand numerous times. Likewise most employers anymore will not allow you to speak with a supervisor because all such requests have to go through HR due to legal policies/procedures/liability.

With the impact that social media has on society today, it may be an idea to check on their social media sites such as Facebook and Linked In. I’m not saying to be a spy and covertly find out information. But you may want to check and see what they’ve said about past employers, co-workers, and duties, malcontents are never good hires.

You may want to check their psychological profiles as well. They will never be 100% effective, but you can help to weed out some undesirables in your applicant process. The same applies for drug testing, health concerns may be detected as well as the use of illicit substances.

I was going to work for Pinkerton and had to take one of them. I scored so high on the test they wouldn’t hire me because they thought I had cheated. After you’ve taken so many of those tests, you learn how to manipulate the results and score high. I had an applicant in the 90s who took an in-office drug test…we saved him a trip to the ER for a malady he had and didn’t know.

It doesn’t matter what job, industry, skill required, or educational certificates you are hiring for you absolutely must conduct background checks on prospective employees. Of this there can be NO debate. We even did it for a day labor company I worked for in 2003.

With the problems within our society of workplace violence, terrorism, illegal immigration, fraud, theft and a myriad of other crimes that plague businesses and consumers, you have to know, as best as we can, who we hire and work with. If for no other reason to avoid lawsuits and litigation because we didn’t do…

Robert D. Sollars assists businesses and their employees to lessen their risk of WPV as well as other security/customer service related issues. You can follow him on his Facebook page,, or twitter@robertsollars2.

                                  I May be Blind but my Vision is Crystal Clear

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